Stuxnet: The Digital Hiroshima

Government of the United States

Government of Iran

The US government did not consider the deployment of Stuxnet as an act of war against Iran.

"It’s a covert action. And the U.S. government has, ever since the end of World War II, before then, engaged in covert action."

Richard Clarke, National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection, and Counter-terrorism for the United States (1998-2003)

The Pentagon wanted to ensure that there was minimal collateral damage, as part of the Law of Armed Conflict designed to minimise civilian impact.

"It very much had the feel to it of having been written by or governed by a team of Washington lawyers."

Michael Hayden, Former CIA General

To this day, the Government of the United States officially considers any documents regarding Stuxnet, codename Operation Olympic Games, to be classified (NOFORN TS STLW).

In the documentary Zero Days, an unknown NSA informant explained that Stuxnet was one of several attempts by the United States government to sabotage Iran's nuclear program, such as Operation Merlin and Operation Nitro Zeus.

Iran considered Stuxnet as an attempt "to sabotage the uranium enrichment facility at Natanz”.

"An electronic war has been launched against Iran"

Iranian Minister of Industries

"It’s clear that the Natanz situation generated a reaction by them"

US General Shelton

"Iran respects international law and refrains from targeting other nations’ economic or financial institutions"

Iran’s mission to the United Nations

The establishment of the Iranian Cyber Defence Command was the government response - the ICDC is now the 4th biggest cyber army in the world (After the USA, Germany and Japan). However, most of the ICDC’s capacity is for defense, while APT groups such as Rocket Kitten engage in offensive actions.